One thing I noticed very early in my teaching career was how easy it was for parents to make big mistakes and not even realize it. And how much some of those mistakes could end up costing. I encountered many a parent that loved their child desperately, but like most of us was distracted…or in some cases, misguided. The next 6 points were not written in an attempt to judge, but instead with a hope that if any parent out there sees themselves in anything listed below, they will realize that it may be time for some change. Remember, the goal is success. While the recipe may vary based on tastes, certain ingredients are the same in every pot.
1. Please don’t send your child to school angry, hurt or without a hug. The side effects of all these things are cruel and unusual, not only for the child, but all others involved.
2. Please do not give your child the impression that you believe everything that comes out of their mouths. They will play the heck out of you and cause you to come to the school and act foolish. Check their references first.
3. Please love your child enough to expect nothing less than respect and obedience from them….everywhere they go! (this includes school) You are causing them irreversible damage if you dont. How you treat yourself and others is how they will treat themselves and others.
4. Please at least act like you care about school. Checking book bags, homework and report cards are part of the job when you sign up to be a parent. (See the handbook) If you don’t care, neither will they.
5. Please show your children that there is a difference between being a child and an adult. The lines between your worlds should not be blurred. Children need something to aspire to. If you look, act and talk just like them…where are they headed?
6. Please do not make excuses for or defend your child’s wrong behavior. We realize you may be embarrassed and feel like they are a reflection of you…they are AND they aren’t. Practically every educator knows that at some point in time even the best parents are going to have to deal with some bad situations. Don’t hinder your child’s opportunities to change/learn because you don’t want to deal with reality. Better the school call you than the police.
Bottom line: Parenting is hard. It’s supposed to be. It’s going to challenge you, push you, pull you, change you, bend you and sometimes sucker punch you in the gut! You are growing a human being with a mind of their own, a will and a way that their limited selves think is right. Just know that you would not have been blessed with this challenge if the plan was for you to be defeated. Stand strong, hold your ground when needed and when you can’t…ask for help. Although I refer to the “handbook,” we all know it doesn’t exist. Do the best you can, but make sure it’s truly your best. There are no do overs!
Have fun!!! 😉